It shall be the primary purpose of this corporation to
enrich the cultural life of the community by providing financial support to
selected, predominantly local arts-related entities. Additionally, the
corporation will organize, or cause to be organized various cultural and social
events for its members and guests.
October 12, 1998)
The Pasadena Arts League Story
The Men’s Committee for the Arts was established in 1965
by twenty-five Pasadena area business and professional men as a support
organization for the Pasadena Art Museum (formerly the Pasadena Art Institute
located in the Grace Nicholson Building now the Pacific Asia Museum). The group
was encouraged by their art-oriented wives who believed that a motivated group
of men from the community could help generate badly needed financial help for
the museum. In addition to successful fundraising, the Men’s Committee members
found personal rewards in an enriched appreciation of art. The camaraderie of
the group led to various social functions.
Pasadena Art Museum changed to Pasadena Museum of Modern
Art when it moved into its architecturally exciting new building at the corner
of Colorado and Orange Grove Blvd. in 1969. The new museum hosted a range of
exhibitions and parties that received international recognition. Membership in
the Men’s Committee grew to over 150, all enthusiastic supporters of this new
adventure in art.
They commissioned a series of limited edition pieces by
such noted artists as Joan Miro, Robert Rauschenberg, Jules Olitski, which
immediately became valuable collectors’ items.
Despite heroic efforts of its several support groups and
the community at large, The Pasadena Museum of Modern Art failed financially in
1974. It passed into private hands and today it exists as the Norton Simon
Museum. Members of the Men’s Committee were determined to continue as an
educational forum for men interested in expanding their knowledge of the arts
and as a patron of arts organizations in the Pasadena community.
In 1996, The Men’s Committee opened its membership to
women and changed its name to Pasadena Committee for the Arts. In 1997, the
name was changed to Pasadena Arts League to better reflect its role in the
Pasadena Arts League, more affectionately known as PAL,
regularly holds programs in a variety of locations. These meetings offer
members privileged access to private collections, to artists in their studios,
or gallery exhibitions with curatorial lectures and are often combined with
gourmet dinning. Programs have been extended to include music and theater.
Social occasions, such as the annual holiday party, are always gala events.
Periodic week-end trips to locations such as Santa Fe, Chicago, Kansas City or
Houston broaden the group’s territorial horizons.
At the June annual meeting, PAL awards grants to a variety
of Pasadena area arts groups. Over the years recipients have included Armory
Center for the Arts, Art Center College of Design, Coleman Chamber Music
Association, Artists Beyond Disabilities, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena
Conservatory of Music, Pasadena Symphony, California Institute of Technology,
Pasadena Museum of California Art, and Southern California Latino Writers and
Filmmakers. The most recent grantees are listed on the PAL website at: www.pasadenaartsleague.org
PAL continues, after all these years, to be an ideal
organization for anyone who enjoys the arts and wants to learn more about a
field that brings much satisfaction and pleasure. The annual dues underwrite
the grants as well as the group’s minimal operating expenses. Members may
attend as many or as few of the programs as they choose. The charge for each
event is determined by its cost.